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At the end of the path is the Frith Cottage, typical of the first farm houses. This cottage contains a photo display detailing the history of Silverdale.

Beside the cottage is the model farmyard, a smithy and a cowshed of the type first built around the turn of the century. Prior to that a cow was held in a head bail to be milked - see the fence beside the cowshed.

On the lower level are the Bayes Building, housing the colonial museum, and the Wesleyan Chapel.

Our Story
Come for a day...Experience a lifetime


The Pioneer Village was established in 1970 in the former Silverdale (Wade) school grounds. The old school, now used as a Playcentre, can be seen beside the drive at the Wainui Road entrance.

Starting from the top (Wainui Road) entrance, turn left under the pergola, take the Time Trail and "step back in time" to the 1840s when teams of men began felling timber, usually under contract to early European land claimants. To the left of the path is a "sawpit"- in this case a stand -similar to those used by early sawyers. To the right is a hut used as a permanent residence by a solitary bushman later in the century.

By the 1870s the native forest in this area was mostly felled and the former bushland was invaded by itinerants seeking kauri gum left in the ground from the ancient forests.

Pioneer village, Silverdale Auckland, Ne
Pioneer village, Silverdale Auckland, Ne

In the museum are geological and natural history displays which show how this area has developed from Maori occupation, bush felling and gum digging to farming.

The Wesleyan Chapel opened for worship in Silverdale at Easter 1860. 

The Chapel can be hired for weddings, baby naming etc.

From the Chapel the path leads down to the Parsonage, built for the Methodist minister in 1877. This building has displays of china, a pianola from the 1920s and a shop selling crafts.


A path leads down to a small building which was the Dairy Flat Post Office and general store built in 1929. It is set up as a general store and post office pre 1950.

The gazebo nearby was erected in memory of Selwyn Lloyd, an early patron of the Historical Society. This area is a popular place for summer weddings.

The next house on the Time Trail is the Schoolmaster's house, built across the road opposite the school in 1908. As well as an Edwardian bedroom, parlour, nursery and schoolroom, other displays include needlecraft and domestic equipment used in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Attached to the Schoolmaster's house is the Sidwell annex which contains tools and instruments used by several generations of early settlers.

Neville House.JPG

The last house on the Time Trail is the Neville House, previously the property of the Neville family whose carrying business was the district's life blood in the middle years of the twentieth century. It was converted from its original villa form to that of a Californian bungalow in 1935. The signs of earlier walls etc. Can still be seen in the floors and ceilings. The dining room and kitchen have been redone as closely as possible to their 1935 appearance. There are also display areas covering the evolution of the district's communications. 

Our latest exhibit is the Carriage House and Travel Display, which houses a gig donated by the Stoney family.

The society's reference library, collection of local archives and maps are held in the Bayes building beside the Chapel and are available on request.

The large collection of early photographs of the area is held in the Parsonage. Copies of photos may be ordered from the staff on duty.

Crab apple tree
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